Long haul flights with breastfeeding toddlers, anyone? Also, carseats in taxis - Mothering Forums
Multicultural Families > Long haul flights with breastfeeding toddlers, anyone? Also, carseats in taxis
sky_and_lavender's Avatar sky_and_lavender 08:29 AM 04-08-2012

My daughter is 2 years 8 months and still breastfeeds a lot, especially if I'm sitting down. We recently went on a quick plane ride and forcing her to sit in her own seat resulted in lots of tears and sadness--she wanted "haleeb" (milk). I remember on our last long flight, when she was around 15 months old, it was 15 hours of breastfeeding, basically, and no sleep for me. I was so sore by the time we landed!


I was just wondering if other extended breastfeeding mothers had dealt with this and if you'd come up with any ways to make it easier for your child and you. This trip might be a little easier, because it will broken up into two flights.


Also, we'll be in a place for part of our trip (Qatar) where we have to take taxis everywhere. Last time we were there, we didn't use the carseat at all--I was afraid the taxi would drive off with half of us while we struggled to install the seat. (Please don't lecture me--I know this is not good!) I was wondering if there were any sort of harnesses we could buy that would be, while maybe not as secure as a carseat, not as bad as nothing. (Our daughter is normal height but quite petite, in case that matters.) Otherwise I will be trapped in our hotel because walking is really not an option in Qatar.   


Thanks for your input!

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench 09:26 AM 04-09-2012

cannot say much about breasfeeding but the constant thing that I found helpful when travelling by plane has been to buy a bunch of cheap balloons & every where we had to wait even for a little while, we would blow a balloon, tie it up .... play with it (usually, other kids want to come and play, it passes the time quite well) and leave the cheap balloon behind (since we have a stash of them, the kids know that we can use another one at the next waiting area ....)


for harnesses, what about harnesses that one can buy when toddlers tend to wander too far off

and use that and fasten it to the seat belt in the car (fastening the seat belt before the toddler sits, in their back) ?

Eclipsepearl's Avatar Eclipsepearl 10:06 AM 04-11-2012

I think she's too young for a Ride Safer Travel Vest but you can look into it. Go visit the Family Safety Board.


One common taxi tip is to keep the door open while installing it. Also have the other parent (adult? if there is another...) get in with the baby on the other side. The driver then can't drive away. 


Otherwise, there really is no alternative to a car seat. Bring it on board and use it on the plane. You have the right if it's a U.S. or Canadian company. Check if you're flying with another nationality.


When you fly, you get dehydrated very easily. The lack of sleep, the dry plane air, etc. It's easy to have a dip in supply. I could usually distract my toddlers (bf or not) with a new toy as soon as we were seated. Keeping them seated was my problem! 



meemee's Avatar meemee 08:56 PM 04-11-2012

i am not sure if you meant dont lecture about the car seat, but when i went back to asia i didnt even bother to try the car seat. had it with me to put her in during take off and touch down but she screamed bloody murder so i just held her.  i could find nothing to put her in or even restrain her in the taxis. however i did not feel unsafe either. and there was NO WAY we could have stayed at home. so not an option.


at 9 months those were heavenly times as my SCREAMING child in the US never cried one bit in asia. once we were back she screamed again till she got into the front facing car seat. when she was 9 months the hostess gave me a special extra belt during take off and touch down.


i have to say i was grateful for the bf. i cannot sleep on the plane anyways. i just bf her and watched movies. so i am of no help.


each time i had a backpack full of toys and treats and stuff and we never really opened them.

sky_and_lavender's Avatar sky_and_lavender 09:54 PM 04-17-2012

Thanks you all for your thoughts on this. And thank you, Eclipsepearl, for pointing me to the family safety forum, where I read about the affordable Cosco Scenera option.


Our "flight" is actually 3 flights to get to our first destination. The first 9 hour flight is at night, and I think having a carseat onboard will enable my daughter to sleep and to understand that "since she is in her carseat" there is no breastfeeding. I do not feel totally convinced that the carseat is necessary for the plane safety--I'm willing to take my chances. But if turns out that 9 hours with the carseat is miserable, I can gate check it for the other flights.


Then I will have a carseat to use in Beirut (since no one in the family seems to use them and renting one is unappealing) and an easy install in taxis in Qatar. I totally sympathize with the "hate to ride in carseat" situation, but luckily my daughter doesn't have that issue, and it doesn't seem like too much of a bother...


The thing that puzzles me a bit is how you carry your carseat around while you're walking around town or doing whatever you're doing. Fortunately, I don't think I'll be doing that much touristy stuff in Qatar.

IsaFrench's Avatar IsaFrench 02:56 AM 04-18-2012

in situations like these, you can use some of these little foldable trolleys

you know like a shopping trolley but without the bag and with straps instead ????

sky_and_lavender's Avatar sky_and_lavender 07:30 PM 04-19-2012

Thanks, IsaFrench! I have never been a stroller mom, so the whole idea of rolling something while also wrangling my daughter seemed foreign and difficult. But, looking into the idea, I ended up ordering a foldable box/luggage cart for about $30 that I think will work very well. Thanks for the nudge in that direction.

Eclipsepearl's Avatar Eclipsepearl 05:06 AM 04-20-2012

I do not feel totally convinced that the carseat is necessary for the plane safety--I'm willing to take my chances. But if turns out that 9 hours with the carseat is miserable, I can gate check it for the other flights.


Do NOT check a car seat as luggage. They get damaged and lost by the airlines all the time and compensation is rarely offered. If it gets lost, you wont have it. You'll have your baby in your lap in the car. End of story.


You may not feel "totally convinced" but I do. I've seen all the scary crash videos as a Flight Attendant! Your feeling contradict facts. A car seat can make the difference in an accident, especially on take-off and landing when most happen. The dynamics are similar to a car, except the plane is going faster! 


You don't have to keep her in the car seat the whole time. Some parents believe this but it's not true. Mine were in the car seat for take-off, landing and when they slept. Otherwise they were in my arms (often nursing!) or we were doing "aisle laps" (I had very active toddlers!) It was nice to place a sleeping baby down and get some sleep myself on an 11 1/2 hour flight... When the seat belt sign came on, I didn't have to do anything and knew that my baby was secure. 


Another of my tricks was to breastfeed during boarding, right before putting them in their car seats for take off (for the record, the plural refers to multiple children, didn't manage to tandem nurse). Often they fell asleep rolling out to the runway and were fast asleep before we even left the ground. This was often the case at big airports where the taxi can be long. Is she then wakes up after take-off, you can remove her to nurse. You're supposed to keep them in the seat until the seat belt sign goes off but once you're in the air, there's much less risk. 


Someone mentioned the double seat belt. These are banned on U.S. companies, by the FAA, for safety reasons. Just like in a car, having the baby attached to you is dangerous because you weigh more than the child and in forward impact, you would come down on them. 


I used a foldable metal luggage cart and attached the car seat. I could then pull this behind me. The advantage was that my kids weren't big on strollers so bringing one didn't make a lot of sense, especially once they walked. They liked walking but then would get tired. The car seat could then be used to pull them through the airport when they got all floopy and cranky, but only when they just wouldn't walk or didn't want to be worn. Between a good baby carrier and this car seat contraption, it's easy to get through the airport, even alone with three kids like I was on many, many flights! 


sky_and_lavender's Avatar sky_and_lavender 07:00 AM 04-20-2012



I know you have strong feelings on this issue and I'm glad you're willing to share your thoughts and experience. :)


I knew about the fact that they don't have to stay in the seat the whole time. I don't think I'd fly if it was otherwise. Recently we flew on a 2.5 hour flight that was all turbulence, and it was total misery! This trip is going to be three 8-9 hour flights (which I prefer over the other option of a 16+ hour flight, which is what we'd have on the way back like last time!).


Eclipsepearl's Avatar Eclipsepearl 03:06 AM 04-27-2012

Don't worry. On a long haul, they usually can move to a better altitude with smoother air. They have more time. 


The bumpy flight you experienced was probably too short to make any changes to the flight plan. It might have been in an area with a lot of traffic (other aircraft so no room to change). Especially true if you were flying in the northeast corridor.  There might have been weather that a bigger aircraft on a longer flight can move above and avoid. 


Rarely did I have very bumpy transatlantics, at least not for the whole time. Once yes, but it was a really fast flight in the dead of winter. Heavy tail winds that the pilot tried and failed to avoid. At least we were early!


Remember that turbulence, at least a little, is normal. You don't get on a boat and expect it to be completely smooth sailing every minute. Same goes for flying. Don't let it scare you. Emergencies are rare midflight. 


Don't let any past experiences "haunt" you. Each flight is a new experience! 

Tags: Multicultural Families